The 2015 Great NEWS posts are focused on Healthy Habits to enhance our quality and quantity of life. Today’s post on Building Eco Friendly and Sustainable (Part 2) is offered to educate, empower and excite people with healthy home solutions that are great for our ecosystem and environment. Do you realize the level of obsolete and outdated methods that continue to exist in our common architecture, building and construction methods? These inefficient and outdated standards are some of the major contributors for wasting energy and excessive fossil fuel consumption. Most apartments, buildings, condos, dwellings, houses and manufactured homes built today are inefficient, unhealthy and waste precious resources. Billions of dollars are being wasted on structures that are built cheaply and inefficiently because the builder is intent on the least cost and effort necessary to sell it knowing the occupant and owner will end up paying for everything. The short and long term costs for maintenance, remodeling, renovation, repairs and utilities could easily exceed the original cost of the structure. Many builders create an attractive facade instead of focusing on the real requirements for long term durability, energy efficiency and functionality. As a person planning to downsize my home and create an eco-village in Belize this post will share valuable information on building eco friendly and sustainable solutions for the deforestation, energy crisis, food crisis, lack of proper housing, peak oil, sick building syndrome and water shortages many in the world are facing.
Wow that is a big commitment to deliver on. We really have no viable other choice if we want to survive and thrive in the future. So let’s prime the pump with ideas and see what options are available to build better buildings, economy and world one step at a time.
If poorly built, designed and planned housing is negatively affecting our emotions, health and wealth then we must step up to the challenge and find ways to adapt, change and modify our behaviors and thinking. Climate change is a major driver for why we must change and why we must change now. As the effects from blackouts, brownouts, chemical contamination, deforestation, desertification, energy crisis, flooding, food shortages, natural disasters, nuclear accidents, peak oil, pollution, radioactive waste, soil erosion and water shortages continue we must learn to adapt and change our wasteful ways and be more ecologically, energy and environmentally wise.
Unfortunately the construction industry is responsible for the largest percent of man made carbon emissions estimated to be at least 40% of the total. Transportation related emissions are a close second cause. Governments, individuals and organizations are beginning to ask the right questions and think strategically about the concept of building eco friendly buildings and housing.
With so many factors directly affecting our cost of living, economy and quality of life it is no surprise that new industries devoted to eco friendly buildings, housing and systems are sprouting up with a wide range of technological advancements, innovations and products. Some of the key leading edge eco friendly products, systems and technology include: Active/ passive solar, coatings and glazing, Compressed Earth Block, earth dwellings, green products, green roofs, green space, high efficiency lighting, permaculture, rain catchment, recycled materials, solar panels, super efficient insulation, tube plumbing, water conservation, wind turbines, zone AC/heating and much more.
Simple Steps for Better Buildings
- Active/passive solar design involves building and designing homes in a way that factors in air circulation, cooling and heating, green spaces, landscape, location, seasons, solar panels, sun, temperature variances, thermal transfer and winds.
- Coatings and glazing are designed to preserve, prevent and protect various surfaces of our buildings. Modern coatings can block out harmful UV rays, help materials last longer and provide a host of other benefits. Protective coatings, sun shields and tinted windows are great ideas for better energy efficiency.
- Compressed Earth Block (CEB) or Compressed Stabilized Earth Block (CSEB) buildings are state of the art when it comes to being eco friendly and green. Visualize the benefits of a home that is virtually perfect because it is more bug proof, energy efficient, fire proof, sound proof, water proof and long lasting with minimal maintenance, problems and repairs. This proven technology has been around for centuries and could revitalize and revolutionize family homes home builders and communities around the globe. Earth block homes are being built in over 44 countries and should be in even more countries in the near future. DwellEarth has some great information on the many benefits of CEB
- Double and triple pane windows allow us to receive daylight and see out while also minimizing the cold or heat influence on our buildings.
- Earth dwellings are buildings that are built using some degree of earth covering, layering and protection by building into the earth as opposed to strictly above it.
- Eco Communities and Eco Villages are a concept where like minded people band together to redefine and reduce their energy, resources and water footprint
- Green products are those that focus on being and using green, healthy, natural, recycled, safe and sustainable products.
Green roofs utilize gardens, grass, plants and trees on the roof to protect the building from excessive heat, provide food and purify the air. Green roofs are great for insulating and protecting a building from too much sun and heat in the summer as well as insulating from any cold to stay warmer in the winter.
- Green space is the concept of designing our environment to be healing, healthy and holistic. This means planting, providing and protecting natural green spaces for people to enjoy nature, plants and wildlife.
- LED and high efficiency lighting is gaining ground as the wave of the future to reduce our energy dependency and footprint.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines are beginning to gain significant momentum and progress. Be sure to ask your architect, builder and suppliers to support this cocept to the fullest extent possible.
- Mass Rocket Heaters and stoves are super efficient systems that can burn a variety of fuels very efficiently to produce and store a larger percentage of the heat generated. They are a cheaper, eco friendly and more energy efficient compared to conventional electric, fossil fuel, natural gas or nuclear based systems.
- On demand hot water heaters (tankless water heaters) are much better than traditional electric or gas hot water heaters which waste a lot of energy constantly keeping water hot. Have you considered the energy wasted during every 24 hour period to provide maybe 30 minutes of hot water use? Not to mention the water wasted waiting for the hot water to flow to the usage site. We are wasting energy and water needlessly.
- Organic gardens and permaculture is rapidly gaining ground as one of the most important steps a family or person can take to better insure their happiness, health, hormones and holistic lifestyle. Organic food is essential to health and permaculture is a more effective and efficient way to feed the world and grow food.
- Rain catchment is one of the easiest and most important steps for buildings today and for the future. With rain gutters and a storage system every building could collect rainwater to be used for maintaining and operating our building, food and landscaping needs.
- Recycled materials are showing up more and more in eco friendly and sustainable buildings.
- Roofing materials that are lighter in color and more durable than dark asphalt shingles are being used on more eco conscious and eco friendly buildings. Clay tiles are one example as are shiny or white metal roofs.
- Simpler and smaller living with the tiny house trend is building momentum. Whether you are looking to afford your own home, be eco friendly, downsize, live better for less or just be a better steward of the earth this trend makes a lot of sense. Look for the super combination of CEB and tiny houses for an affordable, durable, eco-friendly, long lasting and minimal maintenance home.
Solar panels are gaining momentum as a long term energy source and super saver strategy. Solar is a long term investment that taps into the abundant and free sun rays that fall on the earth most days of the year. While solar panels may not yet be affordable for everyone, everyone should definitely consider the significant affect and impact that solar exposure will have on their buildings, career and life. Remember food, sun, temperatures and water are the keys to our life and survival.
- Solar powered attic fans and vents are easy to install and super helpful to remove hot air from attics in the summer and warm seasons.
- Solar powered hot water heaters are much better than traditional electric or gas hot water heaters.
- Super efficient insulation and thermal barriers are coming on strong as important factors when buying or planning any building. We can no longer afford to waste money and resources like we have in the past in the future. Energy and utility bills could one day in the near future surpass our mortgage payment or rent. Talk with someone on a fixed budget and paid off home dealing with their utility bills to discover the wisdom of optimal insulation.
- Tube plumbing is replacing metal pipes and plastic pipes as a top choice for buildings. Metal pipes tend to deteriorate and leak over time and plastic pipes may have design defects, health hazards and other problems.
- Water conservation is becoming the big buzz these days as more cities, communities and countries deal with their current or future water crisis. Water is too precious to waste. Using pure drinkable lake, river or well water to irrigate a crop, raise factory farm animals, wash a car, water a lawn or water a golf course is a crime against humanity. Let them use recycled waste water instead of people drinking it downstream.
- Wind turbines are another technology that is rapidly gaining acceptance and practical application. While giant wind farms may be an eye sore and even kill birds we must do something now to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Small wind turbines on each building may become essential for our energy dependency and reducing pollution.
- Zone AC/heating makes so much better sense than central AC and heating. Rather than cool or heat an entire building it seems to make better sense to only cool or heat the zones that are currently in use. Central AC and heating may be one of the most wasteful technologies invented for buildings. At least get a programmable thermostat to constantly adjust and monitor your central air system.
Be open and receptive to messages, signs and synchronicity occurring in threes when it comes to eco-friendly building ideas.
The Healthy Habits 2015 series offers simple steps and small suggestions to help us better maintain our environment, build better buildings and protect our planet.
Believing in, building and buying eco friendly homes that are easy, economical, energy efficient and environmentally integrated is one of the easiest and most important things that we can do for the environment and ourselves. When we dream and think about our buildings and dwellings we must begin to think about the energy, environment, finances, footprint, labor, resources, utilities and water it requires to build and operate. The more people that join the eco friendly club the more healthy habits and healthy habitat we create and share for generations to come. Eco-building, eco-design and eco-friendly is the life we are meant to live in order to survive and thrive on Earth. Many of our current behaviors, habits and routines are leading us down a path of despair.and destruction. Eco friendly design ideas like those shared here will help protect our health and the health of our planet. Our daily, weekly and monthly choices and habits affect our happiness, harmony and health so building eco friendly and sustainable smart buildings and homes is just common sense.
Together we can stop draining our emotional, financial, mental and physical health as we change a better building paradigm. With the money we are wasting on excessive fossil fuel consumption, maintenance, mortgages and utility bills we can invest that money and time for our family and financial freedom. We must chose wisely and embrace eco friendly buildings for the greater global good.
This Great NEWS post on Healthy Habits invites you to visualize on the benefits of building eco friendly and sustainable structures around the world. The future of building and the future of humans depend on us to make the right choices and decisions. As we demand better buildings we will change our life and the world for the better.
What is your current Gap?
What eco-friendly and sustainable features are missing in your building? What outdated materials and methods are harming your health? What plans do you have for a future building that will benefit from these building eco friendly and sustainable ideas?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
What mastery action plans will help you implement even more building eco friendly and sustainable standards and systems? What small steps will you take to update and upgrade your current building and future buildings? How will you spread the building eco friendly and sustainable message? Can you invest in an upgrade of your building AC, heating or insulation that will result in saving money for your financial freedom? What research, resources and role models will help you with building eco friendly and sustainable homes and structures?
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding building eco friendly and sustainable homes? What other ideas and inspiration will help motivate us towards better behaviors, beliefs and biology for even more eco friendly buildings in 2015 and beyond? When eco-friendly and sustainable resonates with you please email me to be on my #Belize contact list for future updates on the #Belize Eco Village and Wellness Center being designed. With 149 acres of pine ridge and rain forest land within the 750 acre Red Creek Biological Reserve in southern Belize it is important to attract eco-conscious people committed to building eco-friendly and sustainable homes. I am a raving fan of Compressed Earth Block (CEB) buildings and they will be a key component of the development.
Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins
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